When you hear “French cuisine,” does every bone in your body shudder in terror? Relax. Cooking doesn’t get much simpler than this easier lentil dish, and better yet, the simple concoction of greens and fiber/protein-rich lentils is exactly what your stomach is going to want in between extravagant holiday eating bouts. It’s warm and cozy and comforting on a cold day…definitely a cultural cuisine worth exploring in honor of peace on Earth.
A perfect dinner for those nights when you could just use something hearty and warm, this classic French lentil stew is a vegetarian delight. Simple to prepare and comforting to the senses, once you make this, you’ll want to keep lentils on hand more often. If you can’t wait around for the lentils to cook, start the dish in the morning and let the softened savories, lentils, herbs, and broth cook in the slow cooker for 4 hours on high or 6 on low and add the greens twenty minutes before serving.
Servings: 6 (474 g )
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 1 hour
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 sprig fresh parsley
- 1 lb. French lentils
- 2 quarts low-sodium vegetable broth
- ¼ tsp. salt
- Pepper to taste
- 1 bunch Swiss chard, stemmed and coarsely chopped
- 2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
- Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy-bottomed pan. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until it begins to soften (3-5 minutes). Add the carrot and celery and cook, stirring, until all the vegetables are tender (4-5 minutes). Add the garlic and continue to cook, stirring, until fragrant (30 seconds).
- Tie the herbs together. Add the lentils, low sodium vegetable broth, and herbs to the pan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until lentils are almost tender (40 minutes). Remove the herb bundle and add salt and pepper.
- Stir the chard into the simmering lentils. Cook until the lentils and greens are tender (5-10 minutes).
- Serve warm topped with Parmesan cheese.